Murchison History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The western coast of Scotland and the desolate Hebrides islands are the ancient home of the Murchison family. Their name is derived from the personal name Murchadh, which means sea warrior.The Gaelic form of the name is Mac Mhurchaidh, meaning son of Murchadh;

Early Origins of the Murchison family

The surname Murchison was first found in Inverness, where they held a family seat from very ancient times. They are believed to be descended from Murdoch, a natural son of Angus Mor of Islay of the Clan Donald. In the 12th and 13th centuries the name assumed the Gaelic MacMurchie but with the growing economic need to blend into the mainland the name became anglicized to Murchison.

Early History of the Murchison family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Murchison research. Another 81 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1452, 1541, 1566, and 1685 are included under the topic Early Murchison History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Murchison Spelling Variations

Spelling variations were extremely common in medieval names, since scribes from that era recorded names according to sound rather than a standard set of rules. Murchison has appeared in various documents spelled Murchison, Murcheson, Murchieson, Murquhouson, Murquhosoun, Murckison and many more.

Early Notables of the Murchison family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Murchison Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Murchison migration to the United States +

The descendants of the Dalriadan families who made the great crossing of the Atlantic still dot communities along the east coast of the United States and Canada. In the American War of Independence, many of the settlers traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Clan societies and highland games have allowed Canadian and American families of Scottish descent to recover much of their lost heritage. Investigation of the origins of family names on the North American continent has revealed that early immigrants bearing the name Murchison or a variant listed above include:

Murchison Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Murchison, who arrived in Georgia in 1736
Murchison Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Murchison, aged 34, who arrived in New York in 1812 [1]
  • Alexander Murchison, who arrived in Jamaica sometime between 1813 and 1825
  • Farguhar Murchison, aged 50, who immigrated to the United States from Glasgow, in 1892
Murchison Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Alexander Murchison, aged 21, who immigrated to the United States from Glasgow, Scotland, in 1909
  • John Murchison, aged 25, who immigrated to America from Dalkirth, Scotland, in 1910
  • John Murchison, aged 28, who landed in America from Renten, Scotland, in 1910
  • David Murchison, aged 23, who settled in America from Paisley, Scotland, in 1911
  • Kenneth Murchison, aged 32, who settled in America from Glasgow, Scotland, in 1912
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Murchison migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Murchison Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. John Murchison U.E. who settled in Eastern District [Cornwall], Ontario c. 1784 [2]
  • Mr. Keneth Murchison U.E. who settled in Eastern District [Cornwall], Ontario c. 1784 he served in Captain Angus McDonells Company [2]
  • Mr. Duncan Murchison U.E. who settled in Eastern District, Lancaster [South Glengarry], Ontario c. 1786 he served in the Royal Regiment of New York, married with 2 children [2]
  • Duncan Murchison, who settled in Lancaster, Ontario, Canada in 1796
Murchison Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Donald and Ann Murchison, who settled in Prince Edward Island in 1803

New Zealand Murchison migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Murchison Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Finlay Murchison, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Sevilla" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 2nd December 1859 [3]
  • Miss Catherine Murchison, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Sevilla" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 2nd December 1859 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Murchison (post 1700) +

  • William Polk Murchison (1908-1977), American politician, Mayor of Corsicana, Texas, 1969-71 [4]
  • William Murchison, American politician, Member of North Carolina State Senate from Cumberland County, 1830 [4]
  • V. Ione Murchison, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from California, 2000 [4]
  • John Smith Murchison (1878-1961), American Democrat politician, Mayor of Corsicana, Texas, 1925-29, 1935-40 [4]
  • John M. Murchison, American Democrat politician, Postmaster at Fort Worth, Texas, 1859-60 [4]
  • Cormack Murchison, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Tennessee, 1940 [4]
  • Charles H. Murchison, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Florida, 1940 [4]
  • Alexander Murchison, American politician, Member of North Carolina State Senate from Cumberland County, 1848-49 [4]
  • Kenneth MacKenzie Murchison (1872-1938), American architect
  • Loren C Murchison (1898-1979), American double Olympic gold medal winner
  • ... (Another 2 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


The Murchison Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Impavido pectore
Motto Translation: With undaunted heart.


  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  3. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 2) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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